VIDEO: Josh Mandel’s Facebook Cronies

After Waging Furious Campaign Against Cronyism, Josh Mandel Gave “High-Ranking Jobs” To Political Cronies, Then Sent Top Aide To “Beginner’s Course In The Subject He Was Overseeing”

Despite Seven Public Records Requests Spanning 12 Months, Mandel Still Won’t Disclose Resumes Of Treasurer’s Office Hires

COLUMBUS, OHIO – After campaigning furiously against cronyism during his Treasurer campaign and promising to behave differently, Josh Mandel gave “high-ranking jobs” to political cronies, then sent a top aide to a remedial course on the very subject he was in charge of.

In this new video released by the Ohio Democratic Party, watch Mandel’s political cronies celebrate their outrageous promotions and massive raises with Josh, himself… on Facebook.

Click Below To Watch The Video.

“After campaigning furiously against cronyism during his last campaign and promising to change course, Josh Mandel broke his pledge to Ohioans and awarded top jobs and massive taxpayer funded raises to political cronies, many who lacked the basic qualifications to do their jobs,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “That Josh Mandel surrounded himself with political cronies after repeatedly slamming his predecessor for alleged cronyism is the clearest indication yet that he’s not doing his job on behalf of taxpayers and cannot be trusted.”

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As Cronyism Scandal Engulfs Treasurer’s Office, Will Josh Mandel Comply With Public Records Request Number Seven For Staff Resumes?

Mandel Still Refusing To Disclose Information At Least 47 Hires Despite Repeated Requests Spanning 12 Months

7th Request Follows Embarrassing Reports That Mandel Gave Top Jobs In Treasurer’s Office To Political Cronies, Then Sent High Ranking Aide To “Beginner’s Course In The Subject He Was Overseeing”

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Yesterday, the Ohio Democratic Party filed its seventh public records request for resumes and cover letters of staffers Mandel has hired since his swearing in. Despite the simplicity of the requests spanning the last year, Mandel has repeatedly refused to provide basic information (their resumes) about at least 47 hires in the Treasurer’s office.

What’s Josh Mandel Hiding?

Recently the Dayton Daily News reported that Josh gave “young, relatively inexperienced” campaign staffers top jobs in the Treasurer’s office after campaigning furiously against cronyism in 2010. Days later, The Huffington Post uncovered that Mandel “dispatched a top aide to a beginner’s course in the subject he was overseeing.”

After seven requests spanning 12 months, the Treasurer’s office is ether incompetent or deliberately hiding public information Ohioans deserve to see about Josh Mandel’s office hires.

View the previous six records requests HERE.

“After campaigning furiously against cronyism during his Treasurer’s race and promising to change course, Josh Mandel went back on his pledge to Ohioans and surrounded himself with political cronies and friends,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “Between his numerous questionable hires and reluctance to disclose public records, Ohioans are wondering just how deep cronyism runs in the Treasurer’s office and Josh Mandel has proven once again that he can’t be trusted.”

Complete Text From The Letter Sent Yesterday To The Treasurer’s Office Is Below

April 10, 2012

 

The Honorable Josh Mandel
Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State
Mr. Seth Metcalf
General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer
30 E. Broad Street, 9th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215 

Re: Public Records Request

Dear Mr. Metcalf:

This is our seventh letter and public records request for public information on employees at the Treasurer’s office.  A chronology of the letters we’ve sent to your office is below our request.

We’ve tried several times to make this very specific request and the Treasurer’s office has still not provided the appropriate information.  Of the 60 names we specifically provided in our request of nearly four months ago, the Treasurer’s office only provided information for approximately 12 employees.  We’ve added six names of employees that were hired since we made our last public records request.  

 This is a request pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 149.43 for the following specific records:

  1. All records, including without limitation documents and communications whether stored electronically or in hard copy, relating to the resumes and/or cover letters of the specific employees listed below who are or were employees of the Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State between January 10, 2011 and April 10, 2012.  If resumes and/or cover letters were not requested by the Treasurer’s office and are not on file, please note which individual employees do not have such records on file at the Treasurer’s office. 

Joseph Henry Aquilino
Rishi Bajaj
Joshua Philip Berger
Jennifer Biedenharn
Christopher John Berry
Ryan Adam Bilsky
William Joseph Bishilany
Gretchen Janet Blazer
Erin L Brown
John S Chapman
Diana L Chime
Nicholas A Ciofani
Jennifer E Day
Jeremy D Diamond
Judith Faye Diamond
Jessica Draggar
Karen L Evans
Mary E Fischer
Joseph Forkin
Sante J Ghetti
Scott Matthew Guthrie
Angela M Hawkins
Erin M Honnold
Krista Marie Infante
William Lawson Johnston III
Susan E Kennell
Megan K Kish
Dusten Kohlhorst
Haley Taylor Lodge
Marslyn Garrison Longnecker
Michael R Lord
Walter S Lowe
Mary Maxfield McCleary
Heather Lynn Menze
Seth James Metcalf
Conrad Metz
Brian James Miller
Katherine S O’Brien
Brian Gregory Paul
Joel W Riter
Gordon Christopher Short
Christopher D Shumaker
Steven E Snyder
Sara Starfield
Eric Krenzler Synenberg
David Ivan Turkovic
Seth Foster Unger
Dexter Flynt Vaughan
Jacob Michael Wallace
Dana Beth Wasserman
Brittany LeAnn Williams
Lauren Yopp 

Please produce the requested records within a reasonable period of time.  We anticipate that many of these records will be easy for your office to produce since we have been requesting these specific records for almost one year, and we request that you produce them on a rolling basis as you are able to copy or otherwise reproduce them.  We do not wish to wait until you have gathered all of the requested records before you produce them.  Please let me know when you anticipate producing records.

If there is any information that will be excluded or any materials that will be redacted (other than Social Security numbers) pertaining to our request, we want to know those categories and under what privacy law or other provisions they are withheld or redacted.

Should any portion of this request be denied, in part or in whole, the law requires written justification for its denial, along with a citation of the appropriate Open Records Act exemption that applies for each record, or portion thereof, that is withheld or redacted.

As promised, below is a chronology of the basic public records requests submitted by the ODP to the Treasurer’s office.

April 15, 2011 – First request sent for resumes and/or cover letters for individuals employed by the Treasurer’s Office between January 1, 2010 and April 15, 2011. Request also asked for resumes and/or cover letters of individuals who submitted them for consideration, regardless of employment outcome, from November 2, 2010 to April 15, 2011.

June 6, 2011 – Second request sent for resumes.

July 26, 2011 – Third request which clarified ODP request for all resumes of individuals hired between November 2, 2010 and July 26, 2011.

November 30, 2011 – Fourth overall request to include all resumes for individuals hired between November 2, 2010 and November 30, 2011.

December 20, 2011 – Fifth overall request for all resumes for individuals hired after January 10, 2011. This request included 60 specific names to avoid ambiguity.

January 4, 2012 – Sixth overall request for resumes from ODP in response to the Treasurer’s office letter on December 30, 2011.  The letter that stated there were two sets of CD’s with the appropriate information. The CD’s were never actually enclosed with the letter.

If you have any questions concerning this request, please contact Michael Carrozzo at (614) 221-6563 or at mcarrozzo@ohiodems.org.

Sincerely,

Michael Carrozzo
Ohio Democratic Party
Researcher

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Ohio Democratic Party Files 7th Public Records Request For Resumes Of Treasurer’s Office Staff Following Josh Mandel Cronyism Scandal

Following 6 Requests Since April 2011, Mandel Still Refusing To Disclose Information Regarding At Least 47 Office Hires

Request Follows Shocking Report That Mandel Gave Political Cronies “High-Ranking Jobs” In Treasurer’s Office; Sent Top Aide To “Beginner’s Course In The Subject He Was Overseeing”

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) filed its seventh public records request with the Ohio Treasurer’s office in its yearlong attempt to finally obtain resumes and cover letters for staffers Josh Mandel has hired.

The request follows shocking reports that Mandel gave “young, relatively inexperienced” campaign staffers top jobs in the Treasurer’s office and “dispatched a top aide to a beginner’s course in the subject he was overseeing.”

It is the ODP’s seventh request for this information over the course of twelve months.

In response to six previous requests – which can be viewed here – the Treasurer’s office sent incomplete and unnecessary information, or has yet to respond.

See the below excerpt from today’s public records request:

This is our seventh letter and public records request for public information on employees at the Treasurer’s office.  A chronology of the letters we’ve sent to your office is below our request.

We’ve tried several times to make this very specific request and the Treasurer’s office has still not provided the appropriate information.  Of the 60 names we specifically provided in our request of nearly four months ago, the Treasurer’s office only provided information for approximately 12 employees.  We’ve added six names of employees that were hired since we made our last public records request.

“After repeatedly slamming his Treasurer’s race opponent for alleged cronyism and promising to change course if elected, Josh Mandel went back on his pledge to Ohioans and surrounded himself with political cronies and friends,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “Until Josh finally discloses the resumes for the staffers he’s hired at taxpayer expense, Ohioans are left wondering just how deep cronyism runs in the Treasurer’s office under Mandel. Between his numerous questionable hires and his reluctance to disclose public records, Josh Mandel has proven once again that he can’t be trusted.”

Complete Text From The Letter Sent To The Treasurer’s Office Is Below

April 10, 2012

 

The Honorable Josh Mandel
Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State
Mr. Seth Metcalf
General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer
30 E. Broad Street, 9th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215 

Re: Public Records Request

Dear Mr. Metcalf:

This is our seventh letter and public records request for public information on employees at the Treasurer’s office.  A chronology of the letters we’ve sent to your office is below our request.

We’ve tried several times to make this very specific request and the Treasurer’s office has still not provided the appropriate information.  Of the 60 names we specifically provided in our request of nearly four months ago, the Treasurer’s office only provided information for approximately 12 employees.  We’ve added six names of employees that were hired since we made our last public records request.  

 This is a request pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 149.43 for the following specific records:

  1. All records, including without limitation documents and communications whether stored electronically or in hard copy, relating to the resumes and/or cover letters of the specific employees listed below who are or were employees of the Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State between January 10, 2010 and April 10, 2012.  If resumes and/or cover letters were not requested by the Treasurer’s office and are not on file, please note which individual employees do not have such records on file at the Treasurer’s office. 

Joseph Henry Aquilino
Rishi Bajaj
Joshua Philip Berger
Jennifer Biedenharn
Christopher John Berry
Ryan Adam Bilsky
William Joseph Bishilany
Gretchen Janet Blazer
Erin L Brown
John S Chapman
Diana L Chime
Nicholas A Ciofani
Jennifer E Day
Jeremy D Diamond
Judith Faye Diamond
Jessica Draggar
Karen L Evans
Mary E Fischer
Joseph Forkin
Sante J Ghetti
Scott Matthew Guthrie
Angela M Hawkins
Erin M Honnold
Krista Marie Infante
William Lawson Johnston III
Susan E Kennell
Megan K Kish
Dusten Kohlhorst
Haley Taylor Lodge
Marslyn Garrison Longnecker
Michael R Lord
Walter S Lowe
Mary Maxfield McCleary
Heather Lynn Menze
Seth James Metcalf
Conrad Metz
Brian James Miller
Katherine S O’Brien
Brian Gregory Paul
Joel W Riter
Gordon Christopher Short
Christopher D Shumaker
Steven E Snyder
Sara Starfield
Eric Krenzler Synenberg
David Ivan Turkovic
Seth Foster Unger
Dexter Flynt Vaughan
Jacob Michael Wallace
Dana Beth Wasserman
Brittany LeAnn Williams
Lauren Yopp 

Please produce the requested records within a reasonable period of time.  We anticipate that many of these records will be easy for your office to produce since we have been requesting these specific records for almost one year, and we request that you produce them on a rolling basis as you are able to copy or otherwise reproduce them.  We do not wish to wait until you have gathered all of the requested records before you produce them.  Please let me know when you anticipate producing records.

If there is any information that will be excluded or any materials that will be redacted (other than Social Security numbers) pertaining to our request, we want to know those categories and under what privacy law or other provisions they are withheld or redacted.

Should any portion of this request be denied, in part or in whole, the law requires written justification for its denial, along with a citation of the appropriate Open Records Act exemption that applies for each record, or portion thereof, that is withheld or redacted.

As promised, below is a chronology of the basic public records requests submitted by the ODP to the Treasurer’s office.

April 15, 2011 – First request sent for resumes and/or cover letters for individuals employed by the Treasurer’s Office between January 1, 2010 and April 15, 2011. Request also asked for resumes and/or cover letters of individuals who submitted them for consideration, regardless of employment outcome, from November 2, 2010 to April 15, 2011.

June 6, 2011 – Second request sent for resumes.

July 26, 2011 – Third request which clarified ODP request for all resumes of individuals hired between November 2, 2010 and July 26, 2011.

November 30, 2011 – Fourth overall request to include all resumes for individuals hired between November 2, 2010 and November 30, 2011.

December 20, 2011 – Fifth overall request for all resumes for individuals hired after January 10, 2011. This request included 60 specific names to avoid ambiguity.

January 4, 2012 – Sixth overall request for resumes from ODP in response to the Treasurer’s office letter on December 30, 2011.  The letter that stated there were two sets of CD’s with the appropriate information. The CD’s were never actually enclosed with the letter.

If you have any questions concerning this request, please contact Michael Carrozzo at (614) 221-6563 or at mcarrozzo@ohiodems.org.

Sincerely,

Michael Carrozzo
Ohio Democratic Party
Researcher

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The Ohio Democratic Party Invites Jim Renacci To Denounce Augusta National Golf Club’s Continued Sex Discrimination

Will He Renounce His Own Membership in “Male-Only” Sharon Golf Club?

COLUMBUS, OHIO – As national debate continues around Augusta National Golf Club’s policy prohibiting women from joining the all-male club, Ohio Democrats invite Rep. Jim Renacci to join the 21st century and renounce his personal support for this type of sexism best left in the past.

In 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Rep. Jim Renacci’s membership in the all-male Sharon Golf Club in Medina county. Rather than apologize for his support of gender discrimination, Renacci had the gall to further insult women by belittling the issue of his membership. As the US Masters tournament comes to a close, Ohio voters are reminded of Renacci’s sexism by the ongoing national debate surrounding the all-male Augusta National.

Traditionally, the CEOs of the sponsoring companies of the US Masters have received honorary memberships and green jackets from the Augusta National Golf Course, the golf tournament’s historic long-time host. This year, Virginia Rometty, the CEO of sponsor I.B.M. and a woman, has not yet received a jacket or membership from Augusta National Golf Course.

As controversy continues over Augusta National Golf Course’s practice of prohibiting women members, will Jim Renacci take the opportunity to renounce his own support of male-only clubs?

“Long gone are the days of when it was acceptable for our elected officials to support the old-boys clubs of the past and exclude women from anything,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said. “In addition to Jim Renacci’s support for the Republican Party’s ongoing war against women, he should be ashamed of himself for furthering the notion that this type of sexism has any place in the 21st century. Frankly, it’s offensive that Renacci has not yet apologized for his sexist behavior, and I hope he’ll take advantage of the debate around Augusta to say he’s sorry and end his membership in a male-only golf club.”

 

BACKGROUND


Rep. Renacci has a membership in the “male-only” Sharon Golf Club. The Wadsworth Republican is a member of the all-male Sharon Golf Club in Medina County. When Renacci’s membership in the all-male club was exposed, he failed to apologize for supporting sex discrimination or renounce his ties to the club. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 11, 2011]

Breaking with tradition, I.B.M. CEO Virginia Rometty did not receive a membership to Augusta. The sponsors of the US Masters Golf Tournament traditionally receive a green jacket and membership to Augusta National Golf Club, but IBM CEO Virginia Rometty was excluded this year. [New York Times, April 8, 2012]

President Obama Supports admitting women members to the all-male Augusta National. [Washington Post, April 4, 2012]

 

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Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern’s Statement on Kasich’s Televised Refusal to Support Mitt Romney

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, during an appearance on Meet the Press, Ohio Governor John Kasich adamantly refused to put his support behind presidential contender Mitt Romney, claiming that “Everybody I endorsed or was for dropped out or didn’t run.” In response, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Despite his full embrace of John Kasich’s disastrous attempt to end collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and other public employees, Ohio’s governor is refusing to stand behind Mitt Romney’s toxic candidacy. Even someone as out of touch as John Kasich knows that Mitt Romney will hurt Ohio’s middle class and take our state back to the failed economic policies of the past.”

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Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern Condemns Ohio Republicans Attack on Voting Rights

COLUMBUS, OHIO – In response to Ohio Senate passage of SB 295, the Republican bill to repeal HB 194 and end early voting the weekend before election day, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Once again, Columbus Republicans are blatantly ignoring the will of hundreds of thousands of Ohio voters that want to restore voting rights and put HB 194 on the ballot in November. The bill Senate Republicans supported today attempted to reinstate some of the most egregious parts of HB 194, including cutting off the three-day early voting window right before Election Day, the busiest voting time of the year. Instead of fixing this misguided legislation, Republicans are attempting to bury the same voter suppression tactics by hiding them in hundreds of pages of laws.

This is another sneak attack on voting rights in Ohio, and is not a simple repeal of HB 194.

Much like SB 5 and Issue 2, Republicans know that they’ve set themselves up for yet another embarrassing defeat at the polls, so they’re scrambling to obstruct a statewide referendum vote on their voter suppression bill. This bill makes it harder for people to vote, and Ohioans across the state will see through these games.”

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3 Reasons Josh Mandel Will Continue Repeating “Misleading,” “Ridiculous,” “Pants On Fire” Falsehoods

In Jaw-Dropping Report, Mandel “Doubles Down” On Previously Debunked False Claims; Promises To Repeat Lies “Again And Again

COLUMBUS, OHIO – This weekend, after receiving yet another “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact Ohio for the “dead wrong” assertion that Sen. Sherrod Brown is responsible for Ohio jobs that have gone to China, Josh Mandel doubled down on his right to proudly spew misinformation to Ohio voters, shockingly declaring that he would repeat his previously debunked false claims “again and again.”

That’s right — Josh Mandel doesn’t care if he’s lying.

From The Plain Dealer:

“Others back down or soften their rhetoric once their statements have been publicly scrutinized, but Mandel doubles down. Consider his response in an interview last week when asked again to identify a single Ohio job that went to China because of a decisive vote by Brown.”

“‘If that’s the level of specificity you’re looking for, you’re the reporters — you go do the grunt work,’ said Mandel, who lives in Beachwood.

“…PolitiFact Ohio already had done the ‘grunt work’ and found that the examples cited by Mandel’s campaign failed to back up his claim, hence the Pants on Fire rating. Right or wrong, Mandel vowed to repeat the assertion ‘again and again’ and said he sees no downside.

The Washington Post said Mandel was creating “new frontiers in political dishonesty”:

“Indeed, in forthrightly admitting that he won’t be substantiating his claims because there’s no downside in repeating a debunked assertion again and again, Mandel for once deserves points for honesty.”

Josh Mandel will continue parroting outright lies against Sen. Brown because a look at his own record shows him to be just another politician who isn’t on the side of middle class Ohioans and cares more about running for office than creating jobs.

1.  Mandel’s not on the side of middle class Ohioans and can’t be trusted to create jobs.

  • He would have voted to let the auto industry die, putting nearly 850,000 Ohio jobs related to the industry in jeopardy.
  • He embraced Issue 2, Governor Kasich’s brutal assault on public workers’ rights to collectively bargain.
  • And to this day, he refuses to support Sen. Brown’s bipartisan bill cracking down on China’s unfair currency manipulation, a practice that hurts our middle class and costs Ohio jobs.

2.  He won’t protect Medicare and Social Security.

  • Mandel has joined the far-right wing of the Republican Party, pledging support for a Tea Party budget proposal that “would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”

3.  He has completely ignored his job on behalf of taxpayers.

  • Josh made history as the first “modern-era” treasurer to skip his first 14 meetings of the billion-dollar Board of Deposit he is supposed to chair.
  • Only after being caught red-handed in the Bahamas raising money from payday lenders did he show up for his first Board of Deposit meeting.
  • He allowed banks to commit alleged fraud against taxpayers and retirees for more than a year before taking action.

“Determined to distract from his anti-middle class agenda and record of failure in the Treasurer’s office that stems from ignoring his job, Josh Mandel has embraced a campaign strategy of peddling falsehoods and outright lies even after they’ve been debunked by nonpartisan fact check organizations,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “Josh’s promise to repeat these debunked lies ‘again and again’ in an effort to avoid explaining his opposition to the auto rescue, support for making devastating cuts to Medicare and Social Security and refusal to embrace efforts to crack down on China’s illegal currency manipulation is clear evidence that Mandel’s respect for Ohio voters goes no further than the ballot box.”

BACKGROUND

Mandel Has Repeatedly Been Called Out For “Hurling Wild Charges,” and “Misleading” and “Ridiculous” Claims.  In a December 2011 editorial, the Akron Beacon Journal wrote “Mandel has been hurling wild charges.”  Politifact has twice given Mandel a “Pants of Fire” rating labeling Mandel’s statements as “ridiculous” in December 2011 and in November 2011.  And on the front page of the Plain Dealer on December 8, 2011, the Plain Dealer noted that Mandel would raise “eyebrows with statements often found to be far from truthful.”  [Akron Beacon Journal, 12/7/11; Politifact, 11/14/1112/7/11; Plain Dealer via Politico, 12/8/11]

Almost 850,000 Jobs In Ohio Are Supported By The Auto Industry.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, there are 848,304 jobs in Ohio supported by the auto industry.  [Center for Automotive Research – Industry Contribution Report, April 2010, pg. 48]

Mandel Said He Was Developing A Plan To Save The Auto Rescue.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he is developing a plan to ‘rescue the auto industry.'” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

  • Mandel: “I’m Not Saying The Bailout Didn’t Work.”  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “‘I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work,’ Mandel said.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]
  • Next Sentence: Mandel Disagreed That Auto Rescue Save The Auto Industry.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “But Mandel said he ‘respectfully disagreed’ that it saved the American auto industry.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

Mandel Supported SB 5.  In May 2011, the Dayton Daily News reported “Mandel, a former city councilman, said he supports Senate Bill 5 but has not taken a position on Ryan’s Medicare plan.” [Dayton Daily News, 5/25/11]

Josh Mandel Has Signed the Cut Cap and Balance Pledge [Cut Cap Balance Act.com Senate signers, accessed 11/09/2011]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities:  Cut, Cap And Balance “Would Inexorably Subject Social Security And Medicare To Deep Reductions.”  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, proponents of Cut, Cap and Balance “seek to foster an impression that the measure would protect Social Security and Medicare.  Such an impression would not be accurate.  The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]

Mandel Signed Cut, Cap, and Kill Medicare Pledge Which Will Force Deep Cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Mandel signed a radical Cut, Cap, and Kill Medicare budget pledge. “The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities noted that budget proposal for force deep cuts to both Medicare and Social Security.  CBPP wrote “It is inconceivable, however, that policymakers would meet the bill’s severe annual spending caps through automatic across-the-board cuts year after year; if they did, key government functions would be crippled.  Policymakers would have little alternative but to institute deep cuts in specific programs.” [Cut Cap Balance Act.comsigners, accessed 7/19/2011; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]

Mandel Silent On Sen. Brown’s China Currency Bill For Manufacturers – Spokesman Said Mandel Wouldn’t Be Commenting On Issues Before The Senate. In December 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Mandel also would not give his opinion on a foreign trade bill promoted by Brown and supported by small Ohio manufacturers as well as Portman, a former White House trade ambassador. Brown’s bill would authorize economic sanctions against China if authorities found China manipulated its currency, providing its exports with an unfair pricing advantage. Some conservatives say punitive tariffs might start a trade war. Asked about these issues, Mandel spokesman Joe Aquilino said that the candidate is not a Washington politician and, ‘consequently, for the next year we’re not going to pretend like he’s there and voting on every bill that’s introduced or that’s on the floor.’” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/24/11]

June 2010: Mandel Accused State Treasurer Campaign Opponent Boyce Of “Cronyism And Corruption” For Giving A Low-Bid Contract To State Street Bank When Boyce’s COS’s Friend Was Hired As A Lobbyist. In June 2010, the Columbus Dispatch reported, “Mandel has accused Boyce of ‘cronyism and corruption’ because he awarded a low-bid state investment contract to a Boston firm whose lobbyist is a friend of Amer Ahmad, deputy treasurer and chief financial officer in Boyce’s office. Noure Alo, a Columbus attorney specializing in immigration, was hired as a lobbyist by State Street Corp. about a week after the firm submitted what was later determined to be the winning bid for a state contract to invest $32 million in Ohio pension funds. State Street is under investigation in California for possible fraud involving $56 million in state pension funds there. The California state treasurer calls the company ‘crooks.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 6/17/2010]

August 2010: Mandel Criticized Opponent Boyce For Investing With State Street Bank. In August 2010, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that during the campaign for Ohio state Treasurer, “Mandel blasted [opponent Kevin Boyce] for investing with State Street Bank, which is being sued in California for allegedly charging that state’s pension funds too much in fees. Boyce said few banks can handle the state’s global assets and finding one that hasn’t been sued by someone for something would be nearly impossible.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 8/31/2010]

June 2011:  Mandel Sent Letter To Attorney General Asking For An Investigation.  In June 2011, Crain’s Cleveland Business reported “Ohio state Treasurer JoshMandel sent a letter last Tuesday, June 14, to state Attorney General Mike DeWine requesting a full investigation into foreign currency exchange practices of the custodial banks for the state’s employee pension funds and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.” [Crain’s Cleveland Business, 6/20/11]

March 2012: Mandel Announces JP Morgan Chase And CitiBank Will Oversee Over $41 Billion In Pension Assets.  The Dayton Daily News reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel will give custodial contracts to JP Morgan and CitiBank to oversee $41.3 billion in international assets held by the state’s four largest public pension systems and will sever ties with the two banks that were awarded the work in 2010.” [Dayton Daily News, 3/19/12]

Friday, March 9th:  Josh Mandel Flew To The Bahamas For A Fundraiser.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, already criticized by Democrats for missing official state meetings, flew to the Bahamas last Friday to give a speech to the payday lending industry, The Plain Dealer has confirmed. Mandel held a fund-raiser for his U.S. Senate election campaign while at the Bahamas resort, a spokesman acknowledged when the newspaper asked.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 03/13/12]

Mandel “Began Traveling Widely To Raise Money” Just Months After Being Sworn In As Treasurer.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Months after taking his seat as Ohio’s treasurer in January 2011, he began traveling widely to raise money — $5.8 million so far, records show — for his Senate campaign. He is expected to have one of the deepest campaign chests of any Senate challenger this year.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer,03/13/12]

Mandel Missed His 14th Consecutive State Board Of Deposit Meeting, And He’s Just Fine With That.  In February 2012, The Columbus Dispatch reported “State Treasurer Josh Mandel missed his 14th consecutive Ohio Board of Deposit meeting yesterday — and he’s just fine with that.  Mandel has skipped every monthly meeting of the board, of which he is chairman, since becoming treasurer in January last year. Instead, as in the past, he sent a designee, Seth Metcalf, the agency’s chief financial officer.”  [Columbus Dispatch, 02/24/12]

Mandel Scheduled A Fundraiser In D.C. For Two Hours Before A State Board Of Deposit Meeting In Columbus.  In January 2012, Politico reported that they had “obtained an invitation for a D.C. fundraiser on behalf of Mandel set for Thursday morning — just two hours before the next scheduled board of deposit meeting in Columbus.”  [Politico.com, 01/25/12]

Headline:  Josh Mandel, Ohio Treasurer And Senate Candidate, Skipped Board Meetings For No Known Reason. [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]

Mandel’s Schedule Barely Acknowledged Board of Deposit Responsibilities.  In February 2012, The Huffington Post reported “Josh Mandel, the Republican Ohio treasurer looking to move up to the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, appears to have skipped meetings of the state Board of Deposit for mysterious reasons.” Huffington Post continued, “According to the records, Mandel had nothing on his schedule on five different occasions when the board met. On two other occasions, Mandel blocked out time for the meeting, but a Democratic source said that the board’s minutes show Mandel did not attend. On four other days, Mandel’s schedule says he met with staffers at the time of the board meeting, but the staffers actually were at the meetings, not with Mandel, according to the minutes.  One time Mandel did a radio interview instead of attending the board meeting, and last month he went to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., instead of presiding over the meeting. This past Thursday, he did not attend for unknown reasons, but traveled to another part of the state later in the day to meet with business leaders, according to the Columbus Dispatch.” [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]

Rep. Tim Ryan Calls on Senate Republicans, Mitt Romney, Josh Mandel to End Support for Tax Subsidies to Big Oil

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Tim Ryan (OH-17) released the following statement calling on Senate Republicans to support the Menendez amendment to end tax subsidies to Big Oil and instead invest in renewable energy:

“Everyday, Ohioans are paying more at the pump while Washington Republicans, Mitt Romney, and Josh Mandel push to funnel billions of dollars in subsidies to Big Oil. It’s unconscionable that people in Akron, or Columbus, or Cincinnati are forced to bankroll Big Oil companies with their tax dollars while they’re gouged at the pump.

“My Republican colleagues in the Senate should stand up for the hardworking families in Ohio and across the country and support the Menendez amendment. With this vote, Republicans should support President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy policy and take a step toward fostering the type of clean energy policies that will save families thousands of dollars over time. Republicans other option is to march in lock step with Mitt Romney and Josh Mandel and shamelessly cater to Big Oil donors who benefit from these wasteful subsidies.

“Mitt Romney and Josh Mandel keep beating the drum to protect special interests and corporate executives, and they want Ohioans to foot the bill. Tonight, I hope Senate Republicans take a step away from Mitt Romney and Josh Mandel and do what they can to help Ohioans back at home deal responsibly with the rising costs of energy.”

Ohio Democratic Party Announces Staff Changes

COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio Democratic Party announced changes to its staff as it puts in place a team for victory in 2012 and beyond. Joining the Ohio Democratic Party, Jerid Kurtz will start as Communications Director, and Meredith Tucker has been hired as Deputy Communications Director. Andrew Zucker will move to Press Secretary.

A lifelong Ohioan, Jerid Kurtz was raised by a family of autoworkers in Dayton and graduated from Miamisburg High School.  Moving north, Kurtz spent nearly ten years in Cleveland, earning a B.A. in Political Science and English, and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining the Ohio Democratic Party in March of 2012, Kurtz was privileged to serve numerous Democratic allies, including Governor Ted Strickland and Congressman Tim Ryan. Kurtz also was part of the historic legislative fight to stop Senate Bill 5 in the Ohio State House and end the Republican attacks on workers’ rights.

“Once again, all eyes are on Ohio, and I’m excited to be part of the team that’s fighting to re-elect President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Democrats across the state,” said Kurtz.

Meredith Tucker began her career of political and legislative work in Northeast Ohio, where she worked for Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. In 2008, she served as the GOTV Coordinator for Obama for America in Athens, Ohio. After the 2008 cycle, Meredith worked for various campaigns, helping elect Democrats at the local and statewide level. In 2010, she relocated to Columbus to serve as Representative Debbie Phillips’ legislative aide for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. During Meredith’s time there, Representative Phillips was re-elected to the House and elected to a leadership position as Assistant Minority Whip.

Most recently, she served as the Regional Communications Director in Southern, Southeastern, and Eastern Ohio for the We Are Ohio campaign, resulting in the defeat of Senate bill 5 (Issue 2). Meredith is a native of Lakewood, Ohio; and a proud alumna of Ohio University where she studied political science with a specialization in American Politics.

Andrew Zucker joined the Ohio Democratic Party as Deputy Communications Director in October 2011, taking on the role of Press Secretary in March 2012. A Solon, Ohio native and proud alumnus of Ohio University in Athens with a degree in political communication strategies, Andrew cut his teeth on then-Senator Barack Obama’s historic campaign for president in 2008, crisscrossing the country – from Chicago to Colorado, Iowa to Texas and Minnesota where, as Youth Vote Director, he built the largest and most effective youth vote program in the country. Before joining ODP, Andrew worked for the AFL-CIO as Ohio Deputy Communications Director.

“Seth Bringman has been a tremendous asset to the Ohio Democratic Party and a friend and advisor to our candidates, staff and activists across Ohio,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Kyle McDermott. “Seth has forever raised the bar on what it means to be a member of the staff of the Ohio Democratic Party and although they have big shoes to fill, we are confident that the additions of Jerid Kurtz and Meredith Tucker will ensure the ODP continues to have a strong and effective communications team.”

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Why Did Josh Mandel Allow Alleged Fraud Against Ohio Taxpayers For More Than A Year?

Mandel First Claimed Bank Fraud In June 2010, But Did Nothing For More Than A Year While Raising Money For His Senate Campaign

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Yesterday, after months of scathing headlines over his refusal to do his job and being caught red-handed jetting to the Bahamas to solicit money from payday lenders, Josh Mandel’s Treasurers office changed campaign tactics, outrageously anointing Josh a protector against fraud because he replaced two banks accused of defrauding pensions.

But Josh Mandel sat idly by for more than a year after he said our tax dollars were being abused.

In what can only be described as a shocking disregard for the Ohioans who trusted him to do his job, Josh allowed what he claimed to be fraud against taxpayers and retirees for more than a year, despite alleging bank fraud 21 months prior while campaigning for office in 2010.

Here’s what we know:

  • 21 months ago in June 2010, Mandel first alleged fraud by Bank of New York Mellon and State Street.
  • Nine months ago in June 2011, he asked Attorney General Mike DeWine to investigate “foreign currency exchange practices of the custodial banks” such as BNY and State Street.
  • Despite turning it into a campaign issue, only yesterday did he actually take action.

Why did it take Josh Mandel more than 14 months after his swearing in to finally take action on behalf of taxpayers? Why, if protecting retirees and taxpayers from bank fraud was such a priority, did he wait more than 14 months before addressing his own accusationsWhy didn’t he go to work for Ohio taxpayers on day one?

The answer is simple. Josh Mandel has put “election to higher office above every other consideration” and attended just 1 of 15 Board of Deposit meetings, completely ignoring his job while running for U.S. Senate from the Treasurer’s office.

Ohioans are left wondering whether Josh is completely incompetent, just doesn’t care about his obligations to taxpayers, or both.

“If Josh Mandel was serious about protecting retirees and taxpayers from banks committing alleged fraud, he’d have stopped it on his first day as treasurer, not 14 months later after being caught red-handed in the Bahamas raising money from payday lenders and blowing off 14 straight Board of Deposit meetings,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “That it took Josh more than a year to take steps to stop taxpayer dollars from being invested in banks he himself accused of committing fraud is a stunning display of incompetence and the most damning evidence yet that Mandel’s only priority is landing his next promotion, even at the expense of Ohio voters who expect for him to do his job.

BACKGROUND

June 2010: Mandel Accused State Treasurer Campaign Opponent Boyce Of “Cronyism And Corruption” For Giving A Low-Bid Contract To State Street Bank When Boyce’s COS’s Friend Was Hired As A Lobbyist. In June 2010, the Columbus Dispatch reported, “Mandel has accused Boyce of ‘cronyism and corruption’ because he awarded a low-bid state investment contract to a Boston firm whose lobbyist is a friend of Amer Ahmad, deputy treasurer and chief financial officer in Boyce’s office. Noure Alo, a Columbus attorney specializing in immigration, was hired as a lobbyist by State Street Corp. about a week after the firm submitted what was later determined to be the winning bid for a state contract to invest $32 million in Ohio pension funds. State Street is under investigation in California for possible fraud involving $56 million in state pension funds there. The California state treasurer calls the company ‘crooks.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 6/17/2010]

August 2010: Mandel Criticized Opponent Boyce For Investing With State Street Bank. In August 2010, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that during the campaign for Ohio state Treasurer, “Mandel blasted [opponent Kevin Boyce] for investing with State Street Bank, which is being sued in California for allegedly charging that state’s pension funds too much in fees. Boyce said few banks can handle the state’s global assets and finding one that hasn’t been sued by someone for something would be nearly impossible.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 8/31/2010]

June 2011:  Mandel Sent Letter To Attorney General Asking For An Investigation.  In June 2011, Crain’s Cleveland Business reported “Ohio state Treasurer JoshMandel sent a letter last Tuesday, June 14, to state Attorney General Mike DeWine requesting a full investigation into foreign currency exchange practices of the custodial banks for the state’s employee pension funds and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.” [Crain’s Cleveland Business, 6/20/11]

March 2012: Mandel Announces JP Morgan Chase And CitiBank Will Oversee Over $41 Billion In Pension Assets.  The Dayton Daily News reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel will give custodial contracts to JP Morgan and CitiBank to oversee $41.3 billion in international assets held by the state’s four largest public pension systems and will sever ties with the two banks that were awarded the work in 2010.” [Dayton Daily News, 3/19/12]

Friday, March 9th:  Josh Mandel Flew To The Bahamas For A Fundraiser.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, already criticized by Democrats for missing official state meetings, flew to the Bahamas last Friday to give a speech to the payday lending industry, The Plain Dealer has confirmed. Mandel held a fund-raiser for his U.S. Senate election campaign while at the Bahamas resort, a spokesman acknowledged when the newspaper asked.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 03/13/12]

Mandel “Began Traveling Widely To Raise Money” Just Months After Being Sworn In As Treasurer.  In March 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Months after taking his seat as Ohio’s treasurer in January 2011, he began traveling widely to raise money — $5.8 million so far, records show — for his Senate campaign. He is expected to have one of the deepest campaign chests of any Senate challenger this year.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer,03/13/12]

Mandel Missed His 14th Consecutive State Board Of Deposit Meeting, And He’s Just Fine With That.  In February 2012, The Columbus Dispatch reported “State Treasurer Josh Mandel missed his 14th consecutive Ohio Board of Deposit meeting yesterday — and he’s just fine with that.  Mandel has skipped every monthly meeting of the board, of which he is chairman, since becoming treasurer in January last year. Instead, as in the past, he sent a designee, Seth Metcalf, the agency’s chief financial officer.”  [Columbus Dispatch, 02/24/12]

Mandel Scheduled A Fundraiser In D.C. For Two Hours Before A State Board Of Deposit Meeting In Columbus.  In January 2012, Politico reported that they had “obtained an invitation for a D.C. fundraiser on behalf of Mandel set for Thursday morning — just two hours before the next scheduled board of deposit meeting in Columbus.”  [Politico.com, 01/25/12]

Headline:  Josh Mandel, Ohio Treasurer And Senate Candidate, Skipped Board Meetings For No Known Reason. [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]

  • Mandel’s Schedule Barely Acknowledged Board of Deposit Responsibilities.  In February 2012, The Huffington Post reported “Josh Mandel, the Republican Ohio treasurer looking to move up to the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, appears to have skipped meetings of the state Board of Deposit for mysterious reasons.” Huffington Post continued, “According to the records, Mandel had nothing on his schedule on five different occasions when the board met. On two other occasions, Mandel blocked out time for the meeting, but a Democratic source said that the board’s minutes show Mandel did not attend. On four other days, Mandel’s schedule says he met with staffers at the time of the board meeting, but the staffers actually were at the meetings, not with Mandel, according to the minutes.  One time Mandel did a radio interview instead of attending the board meeting, and last month he went to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., instead of presiding over the meeting. This past Thursday, he did not attend for unknown reasons, but traveled to another part of the state later in the day to meet with business leaders, according to the Columbus Dispatch.” [Huffington Post, 02/24/12]
Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. David Pepper, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.